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In this innovative study, Erica Fox Brindley examines how, during the period 400 BCE–50 CE, Chinese states and an embryonic Chinese empire interacted with peoples referred to as the Yue/Viet along its southern frontier. Brindley provides an overview of current theories in archaeology and linguistics concerning the peoples of the ancient southern frontier of China, the closest relations on the mainland to certain later Southeast Asian and Polynesian peoples. Through analysis of warring states and early Han textual sources, she shows how representations of Chinese and Yue identity invariably fed upon, and often grew out of, a two-way process of centering the self while de-centering the other. Examining rebellions, pivotal ruling figures from various Yue states, and key moments of Yue agency, Brindley demonstrates the complexities involved in identity formation and cultural hybridization in the ancient world, and highlights the ancestry of cultures now associated with southern China and Vietnam.Read more
- A new critical approach to understanding identity along the ancient southern frontier of China
- Introduces important social science research on the ancient peoples and cultures of southern East Asia
- Uses the textual record to challenge existing theories based on archaeology and linguistics
Reviews & endorsements
"Through in-depth investigation of textual and material sources, Erica Brindley provides a fascinating study of Yue/Viet history, identity, and relations with China. Her book is not only a long-overdue addition to our knowledge of the southern frontier of ancient China, but a key contribution to debates about identity and ethnicity in the ancient world."
Nicola Di Cosmo, Institute for Advanced Study, PrincetonSee more reviews
"Brindley's book is a path-breaking exploration of an understudied subject: the Yue and its relationship to its northern Chinese neighbor. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Asian history, as well as empires, archaeology, and antiquity."
Miranda Brown, University of Michigan
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- Date Published: September 2015
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107084780
- length: 302 pages
- dimensions: 237 x 156 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.63kg
- contains: 12 b/w illus. 3 maps 3 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Orientations: Definitions and Disciplinary Discussions: Introduction: concepts and frameworks
1. Who were the Yue?
2. Linguistic research on the Yue/Viet
3. The archaeological record
Part II. Timelines and Political Histories of the Yue State and Han-Period Yue Kingdoms, 500 BCE–110 BCE:
4. Political histories of the Yue state and Han-period Yue kingdoms, 500 BCE–110 BCE
Part III. Performing Hua-Xia, Inscribing Yue: Rhetoric, Rites, and Tags:
5. The rhetoric of cultural superiority and conceptualizations of ethnicity
6. Tropes of the savage: physical markers of Yue identity
7. Savage landscapes and magical objects
Part IV. Performing Yue: Political Drama, Intrigue, and Armed Resistance:
8. Yue identity as political masquerade and ritual modeling
9. Yue identity as armed resistance to the Han imperium
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